BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Lindy Ruff came out of his office wearing a bowling shirt, a gift from the Buffalo Sabres in honor of his 300th career coaching victory.
Ruff, however, knew there was a number more special: 100 points. That's how many the Sabres have produced after Daniel Briere scored the tying and winning goals in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
"I'll take 100 points, but the guys got me a gift and my parents said, 'When you get a gift you should wear it," said Ruff, an avid bowler, referring to his Sabres-colored black and red shirt with '300 Club' stitched on his chest.
The 100 points and 47 victories are the most the Sabres have managed since the 1983-84 season when they had 48 wins and 103 points. Ruff became the 31st NHL coach to win 300 games and the 16th to do so with the same team.
Just as special is the victory came against the Eastern Conference-leading Senators, a team that's given the Sabres fits all season. Buffalo improved to 2-5 against the Senators - the other victory coming in a shootout - and were outscored 33-15 in those games.
"I don't want to get too excited but we're very happy with the win," Briere said. "The thing we're going to build off is that we came back from behind and never quit."
Briere capped a win in which the Sabres rallied from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits.
He forced overtime by scoring with 39 seconds left in regulation, converting Brian Campbell's pass through the crease.
Briere then clinched the victory with 47 seconds left in overtime, with a power-play goal after Brian Pothier hooked Maxim Afinogenov to prevent a clearcut breakaway. Alone at the right post, Afinogenov set up the decisive goal when he fed a pass through the crease to a wide-open Briere, who jammed it in the open side.
Afinogenov had a goal and three assists while Derek Roy and Rory Fitzpatrick also scored.
Daniel Alfredsson, Patrick Eaves, Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly scored for the injury-riddled Senators, who were minus four regular defenseman, including Wade Redden, who missed his fourth straight game, excused for personal reasons.
"I thought our guys played well on the blue line ... people who don't play very much stepped up," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "It's just unfortunate that (the tying goal) happened at the end of regulation the way it did."
The Senators' thin defensive corps was particularly apparent in short-handed situations. Ottawa allowed three power-play goals on seven chances.
"It takes its toll," Alfredsson said. "But they're a good team. Give them credit, they didn't quit."
The Senators lost for the first time in 54 games when scoring four or more goals, ending the third-longest streak in NHL history. The streak dates to a 5-4 overtime loss to Toronto on Feb. 5, 2003.
The Sabres, coming off a playoff-clinching 3-2 shootout win at Toronto on Monday, were careful to note the Senators' depleted lineup.
"That's not the Ottawa Senators there, they're missing a lot of guys on the blue line," said Campbell, who had two assists. "So you take it and you move on."
Buffalo has suddenly begun to rebound, improving to 3-2 since ending a 0-5-1 skid.
"Hopefully this is a big confidence-builder and keeps us going in the right direction," Briere said.
Sabres goaltender Martin Biron stopped 30 shots in making his second straight start in place of Ryan Miller.
Notes: Senators C Mike Fisher had an assist, returning to the lineup after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle. Ottawa demoted LW Denis Hamel to AHL Binghamton. ... The Sabres are 39-11-6 when scoring a power-play goal this season. ... Biron assisted on Afinogenov's goal. It was Biron's his first of the season, fifth of his career and second against the Senators.
|PPG - Maxim Afinogenov (21) ASST: Brian Campbell (29), Martin Biron (1)|
1 - 0 BUF
|Daniel Alfredsson (40) ASST: Mike Fisher (20), Jason Spezza (63)|
1 - 1 Tie
|SHG - Christoph Schubert (4) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 OTT
|PPG - Patrick Eaves (18) ASST: Jason Spezza (64), Brian Pothier (27)|
3 - 1 OTT
|Derek Roy (18) ASST: Michael Grier (13), Chris Drury (34)|
3 - 2 OTT
|PPG - Rory Fitzpatrick (4) ASST: Daniel Briere (29), Maxim Afinogenov (41)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Chris Kelly (9) ASST: Vaclav Varada (14), Brian Pothier (28)|
4 - 3 OTT
|Daniel Briere (23) ASST: Brian Campbell (30), Maxim Afinogenov (42)|
4 - 4 Tie
|PPG - Daniel Briere (24) ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (43), Ales Kotalik (35)|
5 - 4 BUF
|Christoph Schubert Roughing against Thomas Vanek|
|Dany Heatley Hooking against Derek Roy|
|Daniel Alfredsson Hooking|
|Andrew Peters Fighting (maj) against Brian McGrattan|
|Brian McGrattan Fighting (maj) against Andrew Peters|
|Brian Pothier Hooking against Tim Connolly|
|Thomas Vanek Hooking against Antoine Vermette|
|Dany Heatley Elbowing against Chris Drury|
|Christoph Schubert Tripping against Daniel Briere|
|Toni Lydman Interference against Jason Spezza|
|Jason Spezza Diving against Toni Lydman|
|Jay McKee Hooking against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Chris Drury Hi-sticking against Tyler Arnason|
|Brian Pothier Hooking against Maxim Afinogenov|